Author: Mike Halford

Kyle Palmieri

Trade: Devils acquire Palmieri from Ducks


SUNRISE — Just when everybody thought the action was done, the Devils and Ducks pulled off a trade.

At the tail end of Friday’s 2015 NHL Entry Draft, New Jersey acquired Anaheim forward Kyle Palmieri for the 41st overall pick this year, and a selection at the 2016 draft.

Palmieri, 24, is a former first-round pick that’s coming off a year in which he tied a career-high for goals (14) and finished with 29 points. The former U.S. National Team Development Program product also scored four points in 16 playoff games for the Ducks, averaging over 14 minutes a night.

For New Jersey, the move makes sense as the team looks to get younger, faster and more skilled. It’s also the first trade orchestrated by new GM Ray Shero, and he got an affordable producer as Palmieri’s in the last of a three-year deal that pays just $1.46M annually.

For the Ducks, they have a slew of talented young forwards on the horizon, and this move could clear another roster spot up front. It’s also unlikely that UFA winger Matt Beleskey will be back, so Anaheim should have an open competition for minutes next season.

Caps select Samsonov — a first-round goalie pick!

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

SUNRISE — There wasn’t one last year, or the year before.

But this year, we got one — with the 22nd pick of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Washington broke the mold and selected Russian netminder Ilya Samsonov from KHL club Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

Samsonov, 18, was one of the Russian league’s top junior-age goalies this season, and appeared in one game for the senior Metallurg squad. At 6-foot-4 and 203 pounds, his size and athletic ability put him out in front among draft-eligible goalies this season.

As mentioned above, we haven’t had a goalie go in the first round for quite a while. Calgary took Mason McDonald 34th overall in 2014 and, the year prior, Montreal took Zachary Fucale with the 36th pick. The last goalies to go in Round 1 were both in 2012, when Andrei Vasilevskiy went No. 19 to Tampa Bay and Malcolm Subban went at 24 to Boston.

It’ll be interesting to hear why Caps GM Brian MacLellan opted to go this route. His starter, Braden Holtby, is still just 25 years old and the new backup, Philipp Grubauer, doesn’t turn 24 until the fall. That said, it’s been an awfully long time since the team drafted a goalie — three years ago, the Caps took Sergei Kostenko in the seventh round.

Boston becomes first team in 47 years to make three straight 1st-round picks

Don Sweeney

SUNRISE — Boston Bruins fans won’t soon forget the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

In addition to dealing away prized young defenseman Dougie Hamilton and power forward Milan Lucic, the Bruins also made some history on Friday night, becoming the first team to make three consecutive first-round picks since the Montreal Canadiens did it in 1968.

With the 13th selection, acquired from Los Angeles in the Lucic trade, Boston took QMJHL Saint John defenseman Jakub Zboril. The Czech-born skater finished third among d-men in Quebec league scoring this year, and is regarded as a good offensive blueline prospect.

With the 14th pick, a familiar name — Jake DeBrusk, son of former NHLer Louie DeBrusk. The 19th-ranked North American skater, DeBrusk is coming off a terrific offensive campaign with WHL Swift Current and finished tied for sixth in the league in goalscoring, with 42.

Pick 15 (acquired from Calgary) was something of a surprise, as the B’s selected Zachary Senyshyn from OHL Sault Ste Marie. The 38th-ranked North American skater — up from 56 at the midterm — Senyshyn wasn’t on a lot of first-round mock drafts but did finish second among Ontario Hockey League rookies in goals (26) and points (45) before being named to the League’s Second All-Rookie Team this year.

All told, the Bruins replenished their prospect pool in a major way. Zboril, DeBrusk and Senyshyn will join a group that includes last year’s impressive rookie, David Pastrnak, Swedish d-man Linus Arnesson and ’12 first-rounder Malcolm Subban.

PHT’s 2015 NHL Draft Tracker

2015 NHL Draft - Commissioners Luncheon

Keep checking back for updates as we bring you each pick from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida…

1. Edmonton: Connor McDavid, C, OHL Erie (link)

2. Buffalo: Jack Eichel, C, Boston University (link)

3. Arizona: Dylan Strome, C, OHL Erie (link)

4. Toronto: Mitch Marner, C, OHL London (link)

5. Carolina: Noah Hanifin, D, Boston College (link)

6. New Jersey: Pavel Zacha, C, OHL Sarnia (link)

7. Philadelphia: Ivan Provorov, D, WHL Brandon (link)

8. Columbus: Zach Werenski, D, University of Michigan (link)

9. San Jose: Timo Meier, RW, QMJHL Halifax

10: Colorado: Mikko Rantanen, RW, TPS Turku (link)

11. Florida: Lawson Crouse, LW, OHL Kingston (link)

12. Dallas: Denis Guryanov, KHL Lada Togliatti

13. Boston: Jakub Zboril, D, QMJHL Saint John

14. Boston: Jake DeBrusk, LW, WHL Swift Current

15. Boston: Zachary Senyshyn, RW, OHL Sault Ste Marie

16. New York Islanders: Mathew Barzal, C, WHL Seattle (link)

17. Winnipeg: Kyle Connor, LW, USHL Youngstown

18. Ottawa: Thomas Chabot, D, QMHJL Saint John

19. Detroit: Evgeny Svechnikov, C/LW, QMJHL Cape Breton (link)

20. Minnesota: Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Farjestad

21. Ottawa: Colin White, C, USNTDP

22. Washington: Ilya Samsonov, G, KHL Metallurg

23. Vancouver: Brock Boeser, RW, USHL Waterloo

24. Philadelphia: Travis Konecny, C, OHL Ottawa (link)

25. Winnipeg: John Roslovic, C, USNTDP

26. Montreal: Noah Juulsen, D, WHL Everett

27. Anaheim: Jacob Larsson, D, Frolunda

28. New York Islanders: Anthony Beauvillier, LW, QMJHL Shawinigan

29. Columbus Blue Jackets: Gabriel Carlsson, D, Linkoping

30. Arizona Coyotes: Nicholas Merkley, RW, WHL Kelowna

The Next One? Oilers take McDavid first overall

2015 NHL Draft - Top Prospects Media Availability

SUNRISE — On Friday night, the Oilers cashed their winning lottery ticket.

Edmonton did the expected to open the 2015 NHL Entry Draft at the BB&T Center, picking OHL Erie wunderkind Connor McDavid with the first overall selection.

In McDavid, Edmonton gets a franchise center that’s routinely drawn comparisons to Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby. McDavid dominated the OHL this season and went on an amazing run during the playoffs, scoring an eye-bulging 21 goals and 49 points in 20 games and put together a highlight reel of goals.

The Oilers won the right to draft McDavid — dubbed a “generational talent” — after winning April’s NHL draft lottery. It marked the fourth time in six years the Oilers earned the right to pick first; previously, they drafted Taylor Hall in 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011 and Nail Yakupov in 2012.

A dynamic player with elite-level skill and speed, it’s expected that McDavid will make an immediate impact in Edmonton next season — and the Oilers will need it. The club has struggled mightily over the last 10 years, failing to make the playoffs while struggling through a number of regime changes.

But the McDavid selection caps off what’s been a summer of transformation. There’s a new GM (Peter Chiarelli), a new head coach (Todd McLellan) and new hope for an organization that hasn’t been to the playoffs in an awfully long time.

Click here to read PHT’s McDavid draft profile.